Romeo and Juliet Analysis

Throughout history, people have been striving to make their mark on the world around them. Nobody wants to be left behind. People have their own way to leave a legacy, whether it is with a new scientific discovery, developing a charity, running a company, or, in Shakespeare’s case, through the magic of a pencil and a piece of paper.

William Shakespeare was a luminary of the English language, using his exceptional writing talent to climb to the top and remain there for years to come. The many timeless plays composed by Shakespeare have developed the basis of English literature today, and will never be forgotten. One may ask how Shakespeare grew up before devoting his life to literature. The answer, fairly unanticipated, is that William Shakespeare lived a very ordinary life for a man in the 16th century. He was born in 1594, the first child, to a wealthy Catholic family settled in the quiet town of Stratford, England ( 3).

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Being upper class did most likely give Shakespeare a head start to his career, as he was able to attend Stratford’s Grammar school at the young age of seven. The few grueling years he spent there were filled with intense training in grammar, speech, drama, Greek, Latin, and other topics that Shakespeare would surely use in his future ( 11). After a hasty marriage to Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare moved out of Stratford to London where he would further pursue his writing. It was in this 20 year period of living in London that Shakespeare wrote more than 30 total plays and gained immense popularity. This writing prodigy lived more than four centuries ago.

Why is it that now, hundreds of years later across the globe in Niskayuna, New York, the Iroquois Middle School eighth grade class is still learning about Shakespeare? How is it that his ancient pieces of work are still relevant? Once further analyzed, these plays are completely significant to a 21st-century student. The topics that are discussed in Shakespeare’s plays are essentially still written and talked about today. Romeo and Juliet, for example, features two lovers who want more than anything to be together but cannot. This was applicable in the late 1500’s and is still applicable to modern day culture. There is even physical proof of this theory.

In the year 1595, William Shakespeare created an iconic piece of literature that took the world by storm. The story of Romeo and Juliet has been torn apart and sculpted back together in new and inventive ways dating all the way back to 1968. The accuracy of these different versions varies, but the strongest and most correct interpretation is the 1968 film version of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Franco Zeffirelli. This does not change the fact that many more versions exist, some way more far off from the original text than others. Unique to many other versions of the story is Gnomeo and Juliet, a children’s movie directed by Kelly Asbury and released February 11, 2011.

Never before had a movie intended for adolescents been based on a Shakespeare tragedy. Although it may not be the most accurate adaptation, it could be argued as the most entertaining. Featuring bright colors, odd correlations to the original play and goofy humor, it is difficult not to smile while watching this movie. Despite the fact that the characters in the movie are all humanized garden objects, there are accuracies to the original play. One example is Juliet’s relationship with her father. In the play, she opposes her father frequently and has a much stronger relationship with her family’s maid, Nurse.

This cold bond is also present in the movie. Juliet’s father Lord Redbrick is often doubting her and she always turns to the movie’s equivalent of Nurse, Nanette the frog, after having to deal with her father. “We scarce thought us blest that God had lent us but this only child; but now I see this one is one too much, and that we have a curse in having her…” (Shakespeare 72). In this scene in the play, Lord Capulet has an intense argument with Juliet and makes many hurtful remarks. It is obvious why Juliet relies on Nurse/Nadette to comfort her after her father’s rudeness, and both the play and the movie include this point. The movie is also accurate in depicting the character, Tybalt.

Not only does he have the same name as in the play, but his personality and how others view him is the same. One of the first scenes in the movie is Tybalt lawn-mower racing Gnomeo, and before they start he is told not to cheat. Tybalt smirks at this and proceeds to play extremely dirty during the race, throwing shovels at Gnomeo and pushing up against his mobile. “This, by his voice, should be a Montague..

.to strike him dead, I hold it not a sin…” (Shakespeare 20) Tybalt acts the same in the play. He thrives off violence and his hatred for Montagues, and would be happy with killing Romeo. In the movie, Tybalt has the same sense of extreme detestation for Gnomeo. In the play, Romeo and Juliet fall in love before they find out that they belong to feuding families.

Once they find out, the reaction is a mix of shock, terror, and sorrow. An accurate representation of this same plotline occurs in the movie. Gnomeo and Juliet experience love at first sight, and are about to kiss but promptly fall in a pond before their lips meet. Under the water, all the mud and disguises are wiped off the two gnomes, and they see their true colors. Both are primarily disgusted with themselves, but quickly realize that their connection was already too strong to break.

“My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late!” (Shakespeare 23). Juliet expressed her emotions in this line in the play. The same reaction is expressed by Juliet in the movie, only in fewer words and more physical actions. Regardless of the obvious, Gnomeo and Juliet has subtle inaccuracies that one would only notice if they had read the original text. One case being in the play, both Romeo and Juliet have complete sets of parents. Lord Capulet and Lady Capulet, along with Lord Montague and Lady Montague.

These characters are crucial to the plot, and in Gnomeo and Juliet, two out of four are missing. Gnomeo has only a mother, and Juliet has only a father. “That tree was your father’s pride and joy… may he rest in pieces” (Asbury 0:04:40). “You’re just as motivated as your mother was… bless her to bits” (Asbury 0:05:53). By the way Gnomeo’s mother and Juliet’s father talk about their deceased spouse, it sounds as though they passed away a fairly long time ago, but they are still mourning. One very obvious aspect of the play is missing from the movie; Romeo’s depression.

Before Romeo meets Juliet in the play, he is beyond miserable and makes sure everyone knows so. Instead of this state of mind, in the movie, Gnomeo is completely fine before he meets Juliet. He is enthusiastic and energetic- a huge contrast from pre-Juliet Romeo. “Tut, I have lost myself; I am not here; This is not Romeo, he’s some other where” (Shakespeare 7). Romeo is this depressed because of his misfortune with Rosaline, a girl who is not even included in Gnomeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet’s first kiss would seem like a key point to the whole story, but Gnomeo and Juliet presents it incorrectly.

Gnomeo meets Juliet, and they almost kiss but do not quite get there until the very end of the movie. In the original text, Romeo kisses Juliet the very first time they meet. “You kiss by the book” (Shakespeare 22). Juliet told Romeo this after their first few kisses at their initial meeting. This line was obviously not in the movie since they have their first kiss at a much different point of the play. Kelly Asbury, the director of Gnomeo and Juliet, chose to make his interpretation much different from the others.

Although these lateral shifts may be unrealistic, they add to the uniqueness and childishness of the film and help to make it what it really is; a kids movie, not an adult tragedy. For example, The Montague and Capulet houses are built directly next to each other with a white picket separating them, and both are located on Verona Drive. Verona is the name of the city Romeo and Juliet takes place in, only it is from Medival Italy. Also in the text, the Capulet house has a tall orchard wall keeping visitors out, not the garden fence that is shown in the movie. “The orchard walls are high and hard to climb, and the place of death, considering who thou art, if any of my kingsmen find thee here” (Shakespeare 30). The setting of the stories are almost the same, but still have clear differences that differentiate the two.

Another setting shift is the sight in which the two lovers first spot each other. Romeo’s first view of Juliet in the play is at a masquerade party, hosted by the Capulet family. Romeo spots Juliet on the dance floor and is completely taken by her beauty. In Gnomeo and Juliet, Gnomeo is sneaking around outside of his garden when he sees Juliet mischievously prancing around the roof of a greenhouse in the moonlight. The look on his face when he lays eyes on her can only be described as love at first sight. “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night…” (Shakespeare 20).

This line could apply to the movie as well, because Juliet is under the full moon while on top of the greenhouse. Although the setting is different, the outcome of this scene is overall the same. One aspect of the movie that is not in the text could have been accurate, based on the way one interprets it. In Gnomeo and Juliet, Nanette (or Nurse), falls in love with Paris and they become a couple. This definitely does not happen in Romeo and Juliet, but Nurse does kindly talk about Paris often.

“A man, young lady! lady, such a man as all the world–why, he’s a man of wax” (Shakespeare 14). In this scene in the play, Nurse is telling Juliet what a beautiful man Paris is. Nurse may have had the same feelings she had for Paris in the movie Gnomeo and Juliet, but they are not taken into action like they are in the movie. Leonardo Dicaprio and Claire Danes star in the 1996 film, Romeo + Juliet by Baz Luhrmann. While definitely more accurate to the original play than Gnomeo and Juliet, this action-packed film is still very different from the play.

Featuring the ideal modern day heartthrob, Leonardo Dicaprio, this movie introduced many people to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet who may have had no previous experience with his works. It is an impressive spin on the story and a very exciting movie to watch. The first accuracy to the original story was the initial fight scene between the Montague and Capulet families’ servants. Although little details were changed, the scene is overall accurate. The slightly humorous yet still violent tone is correct, along with many of the lines from the text. ?I will bite my thumb at them; which is disgrace to them? (Shakespeare 3).

In both the movie and the text, Sampson says this line with the same sense of hatred towards his opponents. When Romeo sees Juliet for the first time at a party held by the Capulets and immediately falls in love, almost everything is the same as in the play. Juliet is on the dance floor and Romeo is standing by a pillar watching her from the distance. In the movie, the lines Romeo says are the same as what he says in the play. ?Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night” (Shakespeare 20). This crucial line is kept as is and adds to the impact of the scene on the audience.

It must be clear to the viewer how truly in love Romeo is, and by keeping this scene accurate, Baz Luhrmann met this goal. In some scenes, it is apparent that Baz Luhrmann thoroughly read the original Romeo and Juliet. In multiple scenes, emphasis is thrown on certain lines that Shakespeare most likely would have wanted to be emphasized. This is shown in Act 2 Scene 2. “What is a Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man” (Shakespeare 30).

When Juliet says this is the movie, she pauses and smiles, showing the audience she was making a joke. If the film were less accurate, it would have gone right over this line as though it were just like all the others. It appears that in other scenes the director did not read carefully enough. In Act 1 Scene 1, Sampson and Gregory, men of the Capulet household are fighting Abraham, a man of the Montague household. In this scene in the movie, the households are switched. Sampson and Gregory work for the Montagues, and Abraham works for the Capulets.

“Say ‘better.’ here comes one of my master’s kingsmen” (Shakespeare 3). This line is said by Gregory to Sampson in both the movie and the play, but he is talking about different people. In the movie, Gregory is talking about Benvolio, since Benvolio is a Montague. In the play, Gregory is talking about Tybalt because Tybalt is a Capulet and in the play Gregory is a Capulet. One of the most pivotal plot points of the story is the fight in Act 3 Scene 1.

In this scene, Tybalt kills Mercutio, and Romeo avenges his friend by killing Tybalt. These actions are included in the movie’s interpretation of this scene, but the tone is extremely different. In the play, the fight is fairly light hearted and is scattered with jokes. The murders of the two men are followed by two seemingly guilty killers. In the movie, the whole fight scene is extremely dark and intense. Not only is there a vicious thunderstorm occurring, but everyone has a murderous look in their eyes.

“I am hurt. A plague o’ both your houses!” (Shakespeare 54). In the play, Mercutio says this line, then follows with a joke about his injury. In the movie, Mercutio screams this line, and it echos across the entire beach. Dark storm clouds roll in and rain pours from them, adding to the already powerful scene.

The tone in the movie is way out of line from the tone in the play. The last twist of the play is the scene in which both Romeo and Juliet die. This would seem like a crucial scene in the story, and yet Baz Luhrmann depicts the scene incorrectly. In the original Romeo and Juliet, Romeo dies with the belief that Juliet is already dead. A whole day passes before Juliet wakes up from her death-like sleep and sees Romeo dead. “O comfortable friar! where is my lord? I do remember well where I should be, and there I am! Where is my Romeo?” (Shakespeare 102).

When Romeo drinks the poison to take his life in the movie, he sees that Juliet’s eyes are open, but it is too late. In this film, Romeo dies knowing that Juliet was never truly dead after all and that he could have lived a full life with her.When Juliet wakes up in the play, she is completely unaware of the misfortune that happened to Romeo. This is how the scene should have gone in the Baz Luhrmann film, but this is not so. Like Gnomeo and Juliet, the 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet is set in Verona just like the original, but Verona is altered in some way.

Baz Luhrmann took the setting of the play and made it modern, around 500 years later. Even so, the story still applies. This goes to show how Shakespeare’s works are timeless. “In fair Verona, where we lay our scene” (Shakespeare 1). This is the first line of the original Romeo and Juliet, providing the reader with the setting. The movie also starts with this line, but it is obvious to the audience that the movie is not set in 1595 like the play.

One aspect of the 1996 film is that Baz Luhrmann decided to take pieces of the play and make them literal. At the party where Romeo and Juliet first meet, it is a costume party instead of the masquerade party that is described in the play. Baz Luhrmann took the time to take lines and character descriptions from the play and make them into a literal costume that the characters could wear to the party. Tybalt is dressed as the devil, Paris is dressed as an astronaut, and Romeo, most importantly, is dressed as a knight. Two scenes before the party, Nurse tells Juliet “Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days” (Shakespeare 15). Baz Luhrmann took ‘happy nights’ and translated it to ‘happy knights’, then showed that Romeo was the knight in shining armor that was destined for Juliet and make her truly happy.

This is not the only scene in which the movie takes lines more literal than they were probably intended to be. Baz Luhrmann makes sure to utilize his visual power in a movie that a play cannot have. Act 2 Scene 2, the iconic scene in which Juliet talks to Romeo from up on her balcony, is almost completely changed. Instead of being in the garden, Romeo is listening to Juliet from her private pool in her backyard. This pool, that is so important to this scene in the movie, is not at all mentioned in the play.

However, it is there to serve a specific purpose. When Romeo hears Juliet wishing out loud that Romeo weren’t a Capulet, he reveals himself and says “I take thee at thy word: Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized” (Shakespeare 30). As Romeo says baptized, he and Juliet fall into the uncoincidentally placed pool. This draws literal attention to Romeo’s commitment to offering to newly baptize himself for Juliet. Jerome Robbins put a completely original spin on Romeo and Juliet. Placing his Broadway musical West Side Story in modern day New York City, the overall story is still apparent, but many more specific details of Shakespeare’s play were changed.

This adds a much more contemporary feel to the story, and one may need to look a little bit harder to really see that it is based on a play written hundreds of years ago. Tony in West Side Story is a fairly accurate representation of Romeo. He acts in similar ways as the real Romeo, and before going to the party where he would meet Juliet he feels something important within him. Tony sings a whole song about how he know something special is going to happen at that party, all coming from an intuition that he felt. Romeo feels this same intuition in the play. “For my mind misgives some consequence yet hanging in the stars shall bitterly begin his fearful date with this night’s revels and expires the term of a despised life closed in my breast by some vile forfeit of untimely death” (Shakespeare 18).

Romeo knows that the party he is going to will not be an ordinary party, and Tony shows that he feels the same way. Tony also acts the same as Romeo in Act 3 Scene 1. In this action-packed scene, a fight breaks out between Tybalt and Mercutio. In West Side Story, the Jets and the Sharks are fighting each other, but the fight is highlighted around Riff and Bernardo, the West Side Story equivalent of Mercutio and Tybalt. Tony runs to the fight and begs them to stop, getting physically between them and holding Riff back. This is just how Romeo reacts to the fight.

He shouts at them”Gentlemen, for shame, forbear this outrage!” (Shakespeare 53). The director of West Side Story, Jerome Robbins, made sure to accurately represent Romeo in this important scene. Maria is the West Side Story version of Juliet, and, like Tony to Romeo, she represents Juliet authentically. In Act 2 Scene 2, Maria reacts to Tony in the same way that Juliet reacts to Romeo in the original Romeo and Juliet. As Tony is leaving Maria’s fire escape, Maria keeps calling him back to get one last word in with him. This is very accurate to the text, as Juliet does the same thing to Romeo.

As Romeo is leaving, Juliet yells “Hist! Romeo, hist! O, for a falconer’s voice, To lure this tassel gentle back again!” (Shakespeare 33). Juliet kept calling Romeo back, like Maria does to Tony in West Side Story. Despite Jerome Robbins’s attempt to keep the film accurate to the text while still keeping true to the theme of West Side Story, there are clear inaccuracies. After Riff and Bernardo die in the fight between Jets and Sharks, police sirens start wailing. Everyone scatters, leaving distraught Tony alone with the dead bodies. He slowly and dramatically gets up, just to escape before the police come.

This is inaccurate to the text.”And, as he fell, did Romeo turn and fly, This is the truth, or let Benvolio die” (Shakespeare 56). After Mercutio and Tybalt are both killed,Benvolio spills and tells Prince about Romeo killing Tybalt. This allows Prince to be able to sentence Romeo to being banished from Verona, but in West Side Story, Tony gets away. Romeo and Tony have two different fates.

Although they both die, the cause of death between the two of them is not alike. Tony sees Maria across a fence and realizes she is alive, but as they are running to each other, Chino shoots Tony in the chest just before he can get to Maria and he dies. In the play, Romeo commits suicide as opposed to being murdered. “Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death, gorged with the dearest morsel of the earth, thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open, And, in despite, I’ll cram thee with more food!” (Shakespeare 99). Romeo talks about how he is going to “feed” the tomb by giving it one more body; himself. This is a powerful line followed by a powerful act of love, one that was not included in West Side Story.

Not only is it Romeo who kills himself in the play, but Juliet too. Once she wakes up to find that her true love is dead, she becomes suicidal just like Romeo was and stabs herself with Romeo’s sword. In West Side Story, Maria never even dies. This is a huge inaccuracy to the story, as it is the death of both Romeo and Juliet that brings the two families together and ends the feud. After laying down Tony’s dead body, Maria gets pretty crazy and says some terrible things, but she never gets around to the act of suicide like Juliet. “Yea, noise? Then I’ll be brief.

O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die” (Shakespeare 103). These are Juliet’s last words, and she says them leaning over Romeo’s body. The line is similar to what Maria says, but the outcome is very different. Maria stays alive. Jerome Robbins took the original Romeo and Juliet and added many of his own twists in the story.

For example, the original play features the Montague and the Capulet families, fierce rivals. West Side Story has a complete set ofrivals; the Jets and the Sharks. This time it is a fight between ethnicities. The Jets are American and the Sharks are Puerto-Rican. “I hate the word, as I hate all Montagues” (Shakespeare 4). The pure hatred between the two clans is the same, but the names and ethnicities are altered.

The marriage scene between Romeo and Juliet is also interpreted differently in West Side Story. Maria and Tony dance around a bridal shop together, joking about getting married. In one part, they are both on their knees, and it looks like they are actually getting married. The official ceremony is never actually performed and they never get officially married. In Romeo and Juliet, things are different.”Come, come with me, and we shall make short work; For, be your leaves, you shall not stay alone till holy church incorporate two in one” (Shakespeare 47).

Friar Laurence literally marries them in his church, despite the fact that they 13 and 14 years old. In Act 2 scene 4, Nurse gets verbally assaulted by the Montague boys, especially Mercutio. They make fun of her weight, face, and overall just act like little kids. Nurse gets extremely annoyed and probably insulted, but this is as far as it goes. “An old hare hoar, and an old hare hoar, is very good meat in Lent, but a hare this is hoar is too much for a score, when it hoars ere it be spent” (Shakespeare 43).

Mercutio makes hurtful and extremely disrespectful puns but does not get physical with Nurse. In West Side Story, the director took this scene even further and Anita gets almost raped by the Jets. The violence and incivility shown towards Anita is much harsher compared to how the Montague boys treated Nurse. Lastly and most out-dated, the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet created by Franco Zeffirelli is unmistakably the most accurate interpretation of Romeo and Juliet. While many other versions can be characterized as humorous, this version contains many scenes that are downright beautiful. With a haunting melody always playing, and the two lovebirds played by captivating actors, the whole film is enticing to the viewer.

The movie starts very accurately, with the conversation in Act 1 Scene 2 almost exact to the play. Paris talks to Lord Capulet about how he wishes to marry Juliet, and Lord Capulet is pretty easily swayed by Paris’s money practically waved in his face. The lines in the movie are basically identical to the play. When Paris says “Younger than she are happy mothers made” (Shakespeare 9), he also says it in the movie and the camera moves to a window further away where Lady Capulet stands. In this way, the movie uses its visual power to hint to the audience who Paris is talking about.

Even though Franco Zeffirelli, the director, makes use of the movie’s visual power, he stays true to the play in dialogue and tone. When dealing with Juliet’s relationship with her mother, Lady Capulet, the movie is also very accurate to the play. The same cold and awkward vibe is given off when the two are together in a scene that is in the original play. Juliet is very polite around her mother, as opposed to how comfortable she is around Nurse. Lady Capulet cannot even have a normal conversation with her mother without Nurse in the room.

“Nurse, give me leave awhile, we must talk in secret:-Nurse, come back again; I have remember’d me.” (Shakespeare 12). This exact line is included in the movie, because of its importance to the relationship of Juliet and Lady Capulet. In Act 2 Scene 2,Romeo sneaks into Juliet’s garden and speaks to her from below her balcony. The tone is romantic and happy, as the two are finally together. When they leave, they can barely separate.

“A thousand times goodnight!” (Shakespeare 33). The lovers cannot say goodnight well enough, both trying to top each other’s goodbye. This is perfectly depicted in the movie. As Romeo starts to leave Juliet, sad music plays in the background, and they hold onto each other’s hands for as long as possible. Although it could be argued either way, the fight scene between Tybalt and Mercutio in the original text seems very light and unintentional.

Mercutio jokes about his stab wound, making the fight much less intense as one may imagine. “Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch; marry, ‘tis enough. Where is my page? Go, villain, fetch a surgeon” (Shakespeare 54).Tybalt rushes away as soon as he stabs Mercutio, as though he is scared of what he just did. He talks about violence a lot but had never actually killed a person. It would seem logical that Tybalt is frightened by his actions and did not really kill Mercutio purposefully.

In the movie, that is exactly how the fight goes. Tybalt’s eyes widen as he realizes he really killed Mercutio and runs away in fear. Franco Zeffirelli did an overall great job portraying the story of Romeo and Juliet, but there are some aspects of the movie that show that it is not 100% accurate. In the scene where Romeo is listening to Juliet talk on her balcony, Shakespeare adds a subtle dirty joke in Juliet’s dialogue to amplify the humor.”What is a Montague, It is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man” (Shakespeare 30).

Although it cannot be described in the text since there are no visuals, Shakespeare would have most likely wanted Juliet to smile when she said this line. In the movie, Juliet says this line completely normally and speaks right over the surreptitious joke. Although other versions fail to show it, Romeo is depressed before meeting Juliet in the movie. However, he never has the conversation with Benvolio that tells the audience about Rosaline. It is obvious to the audience that Romeo is upset, but they do not know why. “Bid a sickman in sadness make his will: Ah, word ill urged to one that is so ill! In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman” (Shakespeare 8).

This entire conversation is cut out in the movie, which makes Romeo’s depression unclear and inaccurate to the text. Zeffirelli takes the original Romeo and Juliet and goes one step further, shifting the script a little bit to his liking and for the uniqueness of the film. For instance, the masquerade party thrown by the Capulets is in the movie and very much accurate. However, Zeffirelli adds a singer to the party that is not mentioned in the play. His lyrics are very clear, singing “A rose will bloom, then will fade, so does the youth, so does the fairest maid” (Zeffirelli).

These words are very relevant to the movie and add a sense of depth to the party. Some of Zeffirelli’s different interpretations of the text also add a different tone to a scene that may not be depicted in the original text. In Act 3 Scene 5, Romeo vists Juliet to say goodbye before being banished from Verona for killing Tybalt. This is a very romantic scene, complete with love confessions and the exchange of sweet nothings. Nonetheless, no sexual acts are described in the text, besides one kiss.

“Farewell, farewell! One kiss, and I’ll descend” (Shakespeare 68). In the movie, this scene features nudity between Romeo and Juliet, taking the romantic scene one step further into a sexual scene. Although it is not specified that this did not happen in the play, one can imply that it was much more innocent than the movie shows. In Act 4 Scene 2, Friar Laurence sends a Friar off to Romeo to deliver the letter explaining Juliet’s plan to appear dead but really be in a deep sleep. Due to unfortunate events, the letter does not make it to Romeo in time, causing his tragic death.

“In this resolve; I’ll send a friar with speed to Mantua, with my letters to thy lord” (Shakespeare 82). It is implied that the Friar is sent off on horseback since this was common in that time age. Zeffirelli had a different idea. He used a donkey to symbolize the speed of the important letter to Romeo- very slow. A donkey is known for being lazy and sluggish, so Zeffirelli took this and used his visual power to hint to the audience that the letter was not going to get to Romeo on time. William Shakespeare probably did not imagine that his first romantic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, would be recreated dozens times more and hundreds of years later.

The most accurate of them all, though, is clearly the 1968 film. If Shakespeare were to come back from the dead and meet Franco Zeffirelli, one would imagine that he would give him a pat on the back and thank him for authentically carrying on his legacy. Although the film will evidently not be brought through time as effortlessly as the original text, it still hit home to many Shakespeare fans. But even more than that, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet touched millions of people’s’ hearts and should never, ever be forgotten.